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Meet Trailblazer Kelly Maclain

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelly Maclain.

Kelly, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I have always loved technology and watching it evolve as I was growing up but never thought about using it as a tool for art. Fast forward to 2016, my boyfriend, Michael came to me with an idea for a clothing company and described a few designs and a logo to me. Without thinking, I picked up my iPad and started bringing his ideas to life. I discovered a true passion of graphic design and through a collaboration of minds Awakened Soul Apparel was born! We really just wanted to create a line that we wanted to wear and hoped that people would want to as well. I think when you are true to yourself things just unfold the way they are meant to.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I wish! We have had a lot of challenges, but we always look back at them and laugh. You really do learn and grow from every experience good and bad. One of the struggles we have had is discovering that what you think is something great doesn’t always work as well and it’s a lot of experimentation. We have had a few designs fails but we kept going and never let it hinder us and then moved on to create something better. You have to consistently be open to change, something I’m not always good at. I think once we learned to sit back and ride the wave of change it became a more joyful process. There are a lot of clothing companies out there and new ones popping up every day so finding a way to stand alone and be unique is another struggle. I think as a brand once you have faced some struggles and adversities you really find your identity. Your story is something that can never be duplicated.

My advice for any young women just starting their journey is to just do it! There is always going to be naysayers but if you feel passionate about something or feel a pull, go after it. Even if it doesn’t work out, you will grow and learn and, in my opinion, that’s the best experience you can get.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Awakened Soul Apparel – what should we know?
I am half of the brains and graphic designer behind Awakened Soul Apparel next to my best friend (and boyfriend), Michael. We are a conscious clothing brand with the intention to inspire and motivate people through positivity. We like to say it’s a combination of our inner hippie and our inner G. When it comes to spirituality I think there’s an idea that you have to look and act a certain way but we certainly don’t. We both have piercing and tattoos and curse like sailors but we also try our best to live in a high vibrational state, meditate when we can, use crystals to heal and keep a stick of palo santo in our pocket (for emergency energy cleansing, of course). We didn’t find a brand out there that we felt embodied who we were and promoted a message we wanted to stand behind.

Awakened Soul Apparel is really about inspiring people to be the best versions of themselves. I think that something as simple as a message on a shirt can start a much-needed dialog about how we treat the people around us and how we can be better human beings. I am proud to stand behind a brand that promotes love, kindness, and peace, something that we desperately need more of.

We’re interested to hear your thoughts on female leadership – in particular, what do you feel are the biggest barriers or obstacles?
In this industry, I have heard a lot of “he responds better to women” which means to me if you bat your eyes at someone you have a better chance. That’s so unfortunate and frustrating because when you work hard for something you want that to stand for itself and be recognized for what you’re doing and not what you look like. On a positive note, through this brand, I have met and become friends so many amazing, hardworking and badass women paving their own path and killing it every day. They remind me that change is coming.

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Image Credit:
@awknd_photography

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